Tell me where your business will be in 5 years, complete with details.
Can you do it?
If you can, that’s great! If you can’t tell me right now in very specific fashion what your business will look like in 18 months or five years from now and what you’ve accomplished along the way, why not?
Have you taken the time to sit down and think about it, envision it, and map it out? If not, I encourage you to set aside the time and get busy.
Well, how will you know if you’ve “gotten there” if you don’t define where “there” is?! As famous New York Yankee catcher and philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up someplace else.”
Exactly. Imagine waking up five years from now and things haven’t turned out the way you’d kinda vaguely hoped they would. And now, you’re “someplace else.” The problem is that someplace else often isn’t a very satisfying place.
Sure, life has its twists and turns. It’s unpredictable. Things happen and the best laid plans often go awry. But you set yourself up for a bad result right from the get go when you don’t even know what you’re shooting for.
Vague hopes don’t inspire. They can’t illuminate the path. They don’t drive and direct your day to day activities.
So, what does? A clear vision.
Yeah, yeah. You’ve heard it all before. It’s important to have a vision, and it should be clear, but what does that mean? Does that mean you huddle together with your associates to come up with a zippy statement to hang on the wall? No.
It means you paint a picture in as much detail as you can invent. Some people paint the picture with words alone and get super specific. They need nothing more than words to make the vision come alive for them. It becomes so real that all they have to do is live into it.
Some people paint an actual picture. Seriously. I know someone who’s worked with dozens of organizations to create actual large format cartoon-like pictures that detail the path of the progress they’ll be on for the next X number of years, the milestones they’ll pass, and the ultimate destination/heights they’ll reach during that time period.
They often use a mountain, a river, a racetrack or something of the sort to illustrate the trip from where they are to where they want to be. The picture includes a ton of signs, newspaper headlines, speech bubbles, and other features denoting progress. It gives the vision as stated in words tangibility and specificity … measurability and trackability.
Guess what. They work, because they bring abstract ideas to life. They inspire and guide.
I’m not saying everybody should have a picture. This is not about the pictures themselves. It’s about WHY they work. They work because they start to make formless intentions very real and specific.
The milestones in the vision pictures are their goals.
One thing I see repeatedly with business owners and professionals trying to grow their practices is they rarely have clearly defined goals or even appreciate why they’re important.
How many new clients will you attract? How much revenue do you want to be bringing in? What new services do you plan to offer? How much work can you delegate? When can you get that new website up?
The vision sets the target and goals drive the day to day action.
Taking action is important, but the key is to let your vision and goals guide that action.
Vision without action is merely a dream.
Action without vision just passes the time.
Vision with action can change the world.